A sidewalk counselor accused by Planned Parenthood of making a bomb threat against a clinic where he was assisting mothers-to-be now is suing Planned Parenthood for damages over its “malicious lie.”
An employee of Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis abortion business, Casey Spiegel, claimed the abortion counselor, John P. Ryan, told him there were several bombs planted in the clinic.
But Ryan claimed he never said that, and a jury acquitted him.
Brad Blake, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, which represented Ryan, said a video of the encounter clearly shows that the abortion worker “had zero reaction when Mr. Ryan … was speaking to her.”
“This criminal charge, with its attendant bond restrictions that keep John away from the Planned Parenthood facilities, succeeded in muzzling him and depriving him of his First Amendment rights to use the public sidewalk, as he had for years previously, to voice his pro-life message,” Blake said.
“This deprivation of his free speech rights was based on bogus allegations by Planned Parenthood that were then advanced by Prosecutor Kim Gardner’s office.”
The St. Louis prosecutor had brought the case to a grand jury, which refused to indict Ryan. Then Gardner’s office “used a legal maneuver by refiling the case with an ‘information,’ a process used to circumvent a grand jury.”
“Planned Parenthood, Casey Spiegel, and Prosecutor Kim Gardner’s office branded me a felony terrorist, and that is permanently imprinted on the internet forever, yet I am grateful to the Thomas More Society and a jury that saw through these lies and acquitted me almost immediately after receiving the case from the judge,” Ryan said.
“Actually, two juries have cleared me on these charges—first the grand jury and now the trial jury.”
He described the incident: “On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2016, I was at Planned Parenthood doing what I have been doing for years there – offering loving alternatives to abortion to parents coming for abortions and inviting employees there to let us help them find another job.
“As an avid hockey fan, I wore my St. Louis Blues sweatshirt that day in anticipation of the Winter Classic old-timers game to be played that afternoon in St. Louis. New Year’s Eve for the Ryans typically involves babysitting for the grandkids. All of those plans came to a screeching halt when a Planned Parenthood employee, who knew me well, completely fabricated a story about me making a bomb threat on the public sidewalk in front of 4 other witnesses. Not one of those witnesses was interviewed that morning, nor was the readily available video of the incident viewed before the decision was made to arrest me and charge me with a felony for ‘making a terrorist threat.’ I spent the next 35 hours in police custody.”
He explained he lived with the public label “terrorist” for 21 months before a jury acquitted him.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, charges that the abortion industry business, Spiegel, police officers and the prosecutor “in cooperation and concert with one another, maintained and pressed these false allegations for as long as they could.”
“Mr. Ryan now seeks recompense for the deprivation of his federal constitutional rights under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and state-law rights to be free and unharmed by malicious prosecution, defamation, and civil conspiracy,” the claim states.
The case argues that while Speigel claimed there was a bomb threat, the building never was evacuated, the bomb squad never called and the abortion business went on as usual.
Police “failed to view any of the multiple video views of the incident, despite those videos being well-known to the police and readily and immediately available,” the complaint states.
And it alleges there was a conspiracy to use Ryan as the face of a campaign to impose a buffer zone around abortion businesses in the city.
And when an evidentiary hearing in Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against him was scheduled, which would have required evidence of the threat, the abortion business abruptly dropped its case.
The “lie” and the failure of police and prosecutors to acknowledge the evidence combined to violate his constitutional right, it states.
For the “malicious prosecution” and “defamation,” the complaint says, Ryan deserves actual and compensatory damages, punitive and exemplary damages, the costs and “such other and further relief as the court deems proper.”